Over the last year, Ebenezer Medical Outreach Inc. along with Unlimited Future with assistance from the Pallottine Foundation has sought to re-shape a vacant lot across the street from the Douglass Centre. This vacant space located at 906 Douglas Street has officially sprung to life as the Unity Garden is currently under construction. This community garden is being constructed to provide fresh produce for EMO’s “Farmacy” program and create long term sustainability.
This past week, volunteers helped in the beginning stages with weed removal as well as building six new raised beds. However, EMO is still seeking to put together a core group of volunteers who are available as supplies are delivered and with daily maintenance. From amateur beginner gardeners to green thumb experts, all are welcome and encouraged to grow together.
The Unity Garden has hopes of bringing not only a source of fresh homegrown food to the neighborhood and Ebenezer Medical Outreach Inc., but it also wants to instill the benefits of gardening to their community. The benefits described by having a community garden can be impactful in a variety of different ways.
Greenleaf Community describes how community gardens can improve air and soil quality, increase biodiversity of plants and animals as well as reduce neighborhood waste if composting is implemented. The articles states, “Community gardens can help reduce negative environmental impacts by promoting sustainable agriculture; reducing food transportation costs and reducing water runoff. Humans, plants and animals can all benefit from urban agriculture since it creates habitats and improves the ecology of the area.”
Community gardens also hosts a variety of holistic well-being for not only the individuals volunteering but for the entire neighborhood. Reclaiming vacant lots has been reported to increase property values due to less dumping of local litter and lowering crime rates associated with unkempt and abandoned properties. It can also help local residents and community members gain a sense of pride as they see the rewards in planting a seed and watching as it flourishes into fresh food.
As the Unity Garden begins, Ebenezer Medical Outreach Inc. invites anyone interested in learning to garden to come, and together we can grow! If you would like to volunteer to be a part of the Unity Garden, call EMO at 304-529-0753.